CPAs Use Forensics to Ferret Out the Facts
Philadelphia Business Journal Online (10/06/00) Vol. 104, No. 40 p.C6; Gotlieb, Andy

Accounting firms such as KPMG are increasingly relying on Forensic & Litigations Services units to help dig up financial information and provide advice to clients embroiled in business disputes. KPMG's unit employs 40 full-time members in the Philadelphia area alone, and usually has at least 50 cases under investigation at all times. For the litigation services, the unit analyzes the financial losses incurred by both parties in a legal dispute, and on the forensic side, there are often specialized accounting investigations, usually into some type of fraud that a KPMG client believes one of its employees may be committing. Investigative accountants contend that because many records nowadays exist solely in cyberspace, even the most skilled investigator may be stumped, which is why KPMG's unit hires highly skilled computer experts. Those in the forensics and litigation business say that they are also seeing an increase in intellectual property and copyright cases, as well as environmental cases, particularly cases in which a private company cleans up a hazardous site and then attempts to recoup damages.


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